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Australian thinktank praises China's carbon trading effort

2013-06-18 15:38 Xinhua Web Editor: Mo Hong'e

The Climate Institute in Australia commented on Tuesday China's effort in establishing its own carbon trading scheme, saying China's policies since 2005 may lead to "the largest single absolute reduction for any country in the history of action on climate change".

Chinese city of Shenzhen is scheduled to open its carbon trading scheme, one of the seven test schemes in China, on Tuesday. The rest of the six pilot schemes in Beijing, Chongqing, Guangdong, Hubei, Shanghai and Tianjin are planned to start operation within this year.

These pilots are expected to cover around 700 million tonnes of CO2-e by 2014. By comparison, Australia's carbon price covers around 380 million tonnes, California's 165 million tonnes and Europe's 2.1 billion tonnes. China plans to implement a national scheme around 2016 based on the lessons learned from the pilot schemes.

The Climate Institute, an independent research body, recognized in its report that China is implementing a range of policies to address climate change, energy security and air pollution.

"If projections are accurate, these policies since 2005 will deliver a reduction in emissions of 4.5 billion tonnes of CO2 in 2020. This would be the largest single absolute reduction for any country in the history of action on climate change."

The report also noted that China's demand for coal is overstated and China is undergoing significant change in its energy structure.

"In 2011 coal plant investment was less than half of what it was in 2005. Inefficient coal generation have been progressive closed and last year coal consumption grew only 2.5 per cent compared to nearly 12 per cent in 2011."

"Renewables energy accounted for over 19 percent of generation in 2012 and combined with nuclear, accounted for over 90 percent of all electricity generation growth last year," the report added.

The Climate Institute said China's significant investment in clean energy has helped the emerging economy leapt ahead of countries like the United States in its ranking among the G20 nations in its ability to compete in a global low carbon economy. This year China ranked 3rd, up from 7th last year.

"From having virtually no industry in 2005, China now has the largest installed capacity of wind power in the world and is the world's largest producer of solar modules. China is now the world' s largest investor in renewable energy with around 65 billion U.S. dollars invested in 2012. Between 2009 and 2011, China invested more money in renewable energy than it did in coal fired generation," the report said.

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